For most Cocker spaniel owners it’s not possible to spend every hour with their pet and there are often occasions when they need to leave their dog on their own.
None of us like to leave our pets unaccompanied but, with some thought and planning it is possible to make the time apart relatively painless.
However, it is important to not leave your Cocker spaniel alone for too long which leads to the question of ‘How long can a Cocker spaniel be left alone?’
It is a difficult question to answer as every dog is different and they all have individual needs. The best way to look at it is the Cocker spaniel should never be left alone for more than 4 hours. Four hours might not seem like a long time but you have to remember that they are very intelligent animals who enjoy life with their humans and who get bored very easily. Longer periods of boredom can lead to destructive behaviour which is not only upsetting for you, but can also put your dog’s physical health at risk.
Here are some top tips to ensure your Cocker spaniel remains content during the times when they are left alone
Provide plenty of toys that will keep them occupied
Make sure you provide them with their own safe, quiet place where they can feel relaxed and at home
Ensure there is always enough water for them to last the time that they are left alone
Always remember to leave your Cocker spaniel with some kind of company such as another dog or even a recording of other dogs barking if this makes them feel safe.
I’ve often left the TV or radio on, tuned into a classical music channel or one that is primarily talking – at a low volume.
Leave your Cocker spaniel with a tasty and nutritious snack so they don’t get hungry
Why not consider hiring someone who can look after your Cocker for the day or even take them to ‘Doggy Day Care’ ? Many areas have these facilities and your spaniel will love the interaction and playtime with the other dogs.
Is it okay to leave my Cocker spaniel all day while I work?
It is not advisable to leave your Cocker Spaniel alone for 8 hours or more. They are pack animals and don’t like to be left on their own for too long.
It’s really important to consider your circumstances before getting a dog and whether or not you can accommodate his needs, particularly around your work life.
If you do find that you need to leave your spaniel for long periods then you will need to make sure that before you leave for work he has had a really good walk.
Not just ten minutes outside but a good hour running free – if this means that you have to get out of bed early then that’s what you need to do.
The exercise will tire him out and, like most dogs, he will then simply sleep for most of the time while you are at work.
When you get home, and are tired, you have to take him out for a good, long walk. Remember he has been resting all day and he will need to burn off energy.
This is the reality of dog ownership and, as the human, you need to accommodate the needs of your spaniel.
How long can a Cocker spaniel be left alone overnight?
Even when you are at home, your spaniel will need company during the night.
It’s not fair to keep them in their own quarters where they cannot see or hear the rest of their family whilst you are all in bed together.
Leaving them shut away is just not acceptable.
If your dog is used to sleeping in a crate then this should be fine and the crate can be placed at the foot of your bed so he feels as if he is part of the family.
However, if you prefer not to crate your spaniel at night, why not try buying two duvets – one for you and one for him.
How long can a Cocker Spaniel be left alone in the car?
It is never ok to leave your dog in your car for any length of time.
Not even if the windows are open wide or it is just parked in the shade under a tree.
It can be very dangerous. If you have to leave your dog in the car make sure you take someone with you that can stay in the car with him.
Dogs die in hot cars and, the other massive risk is that of dog thieves.
Many dogs are stolen from cars and it only takes a matter of seconds for a thief to break into an unattended car.
Never leave a spaniel, or any other dog alone in a vehicle.
You need to think very carefully before getting a Cocker spaniel.
If you are away all day or for long periods of time then you should be asking yourself whether or not you can commit to owning a dog.
This breed needs a lot of time and attention and they aren’t suited to every environment.
They need a large garden, a home that is near a park or other open space where they can run free plus they also need your commitment to taking them for two long walks per day – it’s the only way to tire them out.
The demands placed on the owner of a Cocker Spaniel are high and you need to be sure that if you do not meet those demands your spaniel will simply end up feeling very unhappy.
If you cannot commit to caring for a Cocker properly then you should consider a pet that is more independent such as a cat.